Tag Archives: Boston Bruins

St. Louis Blues could make history in unusual fashion

I need to stipulate that I am not a hockey fan. I don’t watch hockey matches often. I don’t know most of the teams in the National Hockey League, nor am I even aware of most of the NHL’s top players.

But … I know a little about league history, which brings me to this point: The St. Louis Blues lead the Boston Bruins three games to two in the Stanley Cup finals series and are poised to win the Cup. If they win, they will make history in a most unusual fashion. I now will explain.

The Blues came into the NHL in 1967 when the league expanded from six teams to 12. The NHL then had the horrible sense to put all the new teams into one division and all the original hockey teams into the other.

The newbies then would play their season, along with the oldies. The newbies all had losing regular-season records. The Blues were the best of a bad bunch of teams in that initial 1967-68 season.

They qualified for the Stanley Cup finals in 1968, 1969 and 1970.

The Montreal Canadiens swept the Blues in four straight games in the first two Cup finals; the Bruins scored a 4-0 sweep in 1970, which the latest time the Blues made the finals. That was 49 years ago, man! Three Cup finals and the Blues were zero-for-12 in all of ’em.

The NHL finally woke up to the travesty it created with its goofy alignment after expansion, moving the Chicago Black Hawks into the newbie division for the 1970-71 season. Well, over time the new franchises got up to speed and have been quite competitive.

However, if the Blues win the Stanley Cup over the Bruins they will have erased a 49-year blot on the franchise’s record.

For that reason alone, I am pulling for the Blues to bring home the Stanley Cup and swill the beer that will fill it.

Handshake line gets bruised

Over many years I’ve grown tired of all the fighting in professional hockey.

Therefore, I’ve lost interest in the game. I always have liked, though, the tradition that is unique to that sport: the handshake line.

It’s when opposing players line up to shake each other’s hands and, presumably, wish them well with a “Good game, eh?”

Then something else happened this week after a Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins game. Boston player Milan Lucic decided he hadn’t expressed his hard feelings sufficiently at the opposing team, so he took it out on them during the handshake at the end of the game.


Several of the Canadiens, who had eliminated the Bruins from the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-1 win, reported that Lucic threatened at least one of the players.

What a disgrace.

We’ve lost civility on so many levels in contemporary society: so many of our various art forms have become coarse and crass; certainly our politics has become far less congenial; professional sports is known for its show-offs, showboats, its trash-talkers and its violence (e.g., professional hockey).

Isn’t the time-honored pro hockey handshake line immune from this kind of behavior?

Obviously not.